I took a picture of an interesting looking light when I was in the Catskills earlier this week. The light caught my eye (actually there were 3 of them) because it was made of colored cubes that had mostly faded over the years due to neglect and sun bleaching. I decided that I wanted to make a painting out of the photograph and thought that maybe I would use gouache paints; every now and again I like to use gouache because of its vivid colors and flatness of texture. I printed out the photo and traced it onto a piece of thick watercolor paper by rubbing graphite on the back of the printout, putting the watercolor paper underneath and taping it, and tracing on top. I plotted out which cubes were going to be which color so that the same color wouldn’t be next to itself. I decided that I wanted to use 4 colors: red, yellow, orange and blue. There were 16 squares showing which was the perfect amount to have 4 of each color. I started to paint using the red gouache but when I went to go paint the orange I had an idea that it looked like a brightly colored sculpture. I decided to make it a sculpture instead so I erased the post that was attached to it and filled in the cubes where the post used to be. I adjusted my colors again to account for the new cube by making 5 blues and finished painting the rest of the colors. When I was done with the colors I used pencils to fill in all the lines and shade the sides. I experimented with making a shadow on the ground but decided against it in the end. I also didn’t bother to shade the colored squares on the shadowed sides since I like how it looks the way it is.
This is definitely going to fall into Future Living Projects territory. It’s funny because I’ve been thinking lately about how the human eye is so attracted to color and vowed to make colorful pieces just to make a point about how gullible we are. I thought that this would be a good proposal for Socrates Sculpture Park but the deadline was last week. I’m going to make a small scale model of it and paint it to see how it looks;I’m thinking that I’ll probably make it out of mat board. I think that the final large sculpture will be made using plexiglass that’s painted on one side and steel if I ever get the chance to make it. This is similar to an idea that I had back in 2001 to make color panels in the same way but only made one before moving on to other things. I’ve been thinking that I’d like to make these panels again but make them so that they exist somewhere between sculpture and painting.
Here’s the gouache painting and pencil on paper.